June 19, 2014 - Midsummer

The summer solstice is this coming Saturday. That's the day of the year when we have the most sunlight. It's also known as Midsummer. In olden times it was a day to celebrate with bonfires, feasting, and merrymaking. It was a time when magic was assumed to be at its strongest. In the United States there aren't very many organized celebrations on midsummer's day (or night), but the custom of barbequing, sitting around a fire pit, and hoisting refreshing beverages on summer's evenings may be a incarnation of this old celebration - only done over the course of the summer on many occasions instead of on just that specific date. It does seem like suddenly we're in the midst of summer. Could this perhaps be because winter lingered an exceptionally long time and we've only just recently had a run of pleasant, spring-like weather? It seems as if suddenly hay was being cut and baled and suddenly the oats are all tall and pale green and corn is well sprouting and starting to grow by inches daily. The summer books are suddenly arriving-almost all at once. Since there are a lot of them, without further ado, I'll let you get to them. Enjoy!

  • cover art Hard choices / by Hillary Rodham Clinton. The former secretary of state, senator and first lady shares candid reflections about the key moments of her service in the Obama Administration as well as her thoughts about how to navigate the challenges of the 21st century.
  • cover art Animal madness : how anxious dogs, compulsive parrots, and elephants in recovery help us understand ourselves / by Laurel Braitman. A science historian examines parallels between the ways humans and animals express feelings and experience mental decline, tracing her studies of emotionally disturbed animals and their caregivers to consider how their recoveries can inform the human medical community.
  • cover art Go wild : free your body and mind from the afflictions of civilization / by John Ratey. A Harvard Medical School professor and a journalist discuss how the human lifestyle has changed more rapidly than the human body has and promote obtaining health and happiness by modeling diet, exercise, sleep and mindfulness on that of our ancestors.
  • cover art Two soldiers / by Anders Roslund & Borge Hellstrom. A head of a Stockholm suburb's organized crime and gang police force, two gang members and an investigator who is examining a recent maximum-security prison breakout prepare for a violent confrontation that is marked by a powerful secret. By the award-winning Scandinavian authors of "Three Seconds".
  • cover art Earth awakens : the first Formic war / by Orson Scott Card. A latest entry in the "Ender's Game" prequel series that includes "Earth Afire" follows an invasion of terraforming aliens on Earth, which is complicated by politics and power struggles until a small band of humans organize a desperate defense.
  • cover art The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street : a novel / by Susan Gilman. Russian immigrant Malka arrives in 1913 Manhattan, where she struggles to survive and learns trade secrets from an Italian-ice peddler before setting off across America in an ice cream truck with a handsome, illiterate radical to seek their fortunes.
  • cover art Save the date / by Mary Kay Andrews. Hired for a wedding she hopes will secure her career, florist Cara designs beautiful arrangements in spite of a personal belief that love does not exist, an opinion that is challenged when the bride goes missing. By the best-selling author of "Ladies' Night".
  • cover art Summer house with swimming pool : a novel / by Herman Koch. Concealing the medical mistake that caused the death of a famous actor, Dr. Marc Schlosser gradually reveals the personal reasons he sought the victim's death, including an assault on the doctor's daughter.
  • cover art We are called to rise / by Laura McBride. An immigrant youth struggling to assimilate, a middle-aged housewife with a troubled marriage, a Vegas social worker and a wounded soldier connect with each other and rescue themselves in the wake of an unthinkable incident. A first novel.
  • cover art Circles in the snow / by Patrick McManus. Idaho sheriff Bo Tully is contemplating retirement when a prominent local rancher is murdered by an arrow with eagle fletching at the same time as a string of bald-eagle killings baffles the community.
  • cover art Doing it at the Dixie Dew / by Ruth Moose. When her newly opened bed-and-breakfast is threatened by the discovery a murdered guest, Beth McKenzie questions eccentric locals in her small community of Littleboro only to become a next target.
  • cover art Invisible City / by Julia Dahl. Investigating the murder of a Hasidic Jewish woman who because of religious laws will be buried without an autopsy, Brooklyn journalist Rebekah Roberts, whose Jewish mother abandoned her as a baby, intercedes to prevent the woman's killer from getting away with the crime.
  • cover art Murder in merino : a seaside knitters mystery / by Sally Goldenbaum. While visiting her aunt and uncle in Sea Harbor, Izzy discovers a body in the backyard of their cottage and must rely on the Seaside Knitters to unravel the murder in the latest mystery in the series following "Angora Alibi".